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April 21, 2018
CHICAGO, Ill. – The Penn State men’s gymnastics team crowed one national champion in sophomore Stephen Nedoroscik (Worcester, Mass.) and named three other All-Americans Saturday, April 21 at the UIC Pavilion.
As a team, the Nittany Lions finished sixth overall with a team score of 401.991. Oklahoma earned its fourth-straight NCAA National Championship, scoring a 414.858, while Minnesota finished second overall with a 411.923 and Illinois took third with a 411.689.
Sophomore Sam Zakutney (Ottawa, Ontario) was named a two-time All-American with top-eight finishes on parallel bars and high bar, while Colin Coates (Emmaus, Pa,) earned All-American status on the pommel horse and Greg Tamargo (Kennett Square, Pa.) became an All-American on the still rings.
“It was a challenging night tonight at the national championship,” stated head coach Randy Jepson. “We fell a little below our expectations but I am really proud of how some of our guys pulled it up and got it done. Stephen [Nedoroscik] got another championship and we had three other All-Americans so real great performances. Although he wasn’t an All-American, Wyatt Tyndall was great all weekend. He did not miss a routine.”
“The crazy thing is that we only lose one routine going into next year, so the future is bright but we will have to go earn it next year,” concluded Jepson.
Nedoroscik captured his second-straight individual NCAA National Championship as he won the 2018 pommel horse title inside the UIC Pavilion. He is the 54th Penn State men’s gymnast to win an NCAA title as he also picked up the win on the pommel horse in the 2017 campaign.
Waiting through three rotations and four Penn State gymnasts for his turn, Nedoroscik took a deep breath and performed an almost perfect routine, scoring a 14.666 to take over the first-place spot. The Worcester, Massachusetts native was the 10th Nittany Lion to win the NCAA pommel horse title in the 2017 campaign and becomes just the third Penn State student-athlete to capture the title two times.
“It feels unbelievable,” stated Nedoroscik on winning his second-straight national title. “I did not think that I was going to be able to do it again, but I did. This year felt so much better when I won because I got to do it alongside my brothers.”
Nedoroscik joins the company of Brandon Stefaniak, who won the title in 1999 and 2000 and Mark Sohn, who dominated the horse from 1988-1991. The pommel horse specialist becomes the first Penn Stater to win the title in his first two seasons outright as Sohn tied for the win in his sophomore campaign.
Finally, Nedoroscik is just the 11th Penn State gymnast to earn multiple NCAA titles and the first since Luis Vargas, who won the NCAA all-around title in both 2004 and 2005.
Zakutney is now a three-time All-American after tying for third on the parallel bars with a 14.466 and tying for seventh on the high bar with a 13.866. The Ottawa, Ontario also garnered All-American status as a freshman on the parallel bars. Coates and Tamargo earned their first All-American nods as Coates finished in a tie for seventh on the pommel horse with a 13.933 and Tamargo tied for sixth on the still rings with a 13.800.
Stanford took the early lead after the first rotation, while Penn State scored a 67.632 on the parallel bars to sit in fifth in the field. The Blue and White were paced by Zakutney, who tied for third overall, while freshman Alex Frack (Nazareth, Pa.) finished in the top 20 with a 13.700 for the Nittany Lions. Yul Moldauer of Oklahoma notched the victory on the parallel bars with a 14.733.
The Nittany Lions dropped into the sixth-place spot after scoring a 63.765 on the high bar and Zakutney captured his second All-American nod, finishing in a tie for seventh. Junior Wyatt Tyndall (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) also had a big routine on the high bar for Penn State, placing in a tie for 11th with a 13.700 and Frack rounded out the top three scorers for the Blue and White. Robert Neff of Stanford captured the national championship title, scoring a 14.766
The Blue and White were unable to move out of the sixth-place spot after its rotation on floor exercise, scoring a 67.365 behind a team-best 13.800 from freshman Brennan Pantazis (Sparks, Nev.), who placed 17th overall. Junior Chris Sands (Lancaster, Pa.) also placed inside the top 20 with a 13.666 on the floor. Moldauer notched his second victory of the day, leading the field with a 15.166.
Penn State continued to sit in sixth but put together a strong pommel set to close the gap on the other five teams in the field. Nedoroscik captured his second-straight title with a 14.666, while Coates also earned All-American status for the Nittany Lions with a 13.933.
The Blue and White saw its fourth and final All-American come on the still rings as Tamargo led the Nittany Lion pack with a 13.800 and tied for sixth overall. As a team, Penn State scored a 66.299, which was not enough to move it outside of the sixth-place spot. Redshirt-junior Noah Roberson (Williamsville, N.Y.) placed just outside All-American status, finishing ninth overall with a 13.700 and sophomore Brayden Borromeo (Littlestown, Pa.) rounded out the top three for the Blue and White. Alex Diab of Illinois earned the title on the rings with a 14.500.
In the final rotation of the night, the Nittany Lions saw their best team score of the night with a 69.465 on the vault. Tyndall led the way for Penn State with a 14.166, while Pantazis scored a 14.100, and Zakutney notched a 14.033. Moldauer earned the victory on the vault with a 14.900.
Zakutney ended the night with an 80.964 in the all-around to place 11th overall, while Moldauer was the 2018 all-around national champion.
Penn State closes out the 2018 season with one national champion and four All-Americans, while Nedoroscik and Pantazis also earned Big Ten Individual Championships on the pommel horse and floor exercise.